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jared update 3-11-05

updated sun 13 mar 05


Vince Pitelka on fri 11 mar 05

I am so very saddened over this report on Jared's condition. It is up to
each individual to decide the best course of action, but from Steve's
message to Charles, I do NOT think it would be at all appropriate to send a
barrage of email messages directly to the Branfman family right now. But I
am just sick about this. Jared and the Branfman family have shown such
courage through this.

Charles, is the PayPal address for contributing to the Jared fund still in
effect? If so, could you post the address and instructions? It seems that
the best thing NCECA attendees could do is to circulate that information as
widely as possible, so that we can all contribute something to the Branfman
family to help them with continually mounting expenses. Maybe someone could
take on the responsibility to create a flyer to disperse this information at
NCECA. I really do not know what the best course of action is. I do know
that Steve Branfman is a fine person who has contributed so much to the
ceramics world, and that he dearly loves his son Jared. I can only imagine
what he is going through right now. He and his family need our support.
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft, Tennessee Technological University
Smithville TN 37166, 615/597-6801 x111,

Charles Moore on fri 11 mar 05

Dear Clayarters,

A few days ago, Millie Carpenter sent me an email asking for news about =
Jared Branfman's health. Her point was that she thought that potters at =
NCECA might want to know and would like to know how to respond to the =
Branfman family's delimma: should they ask Steven about Jared or not?

I decided to ask Steven to tell me what to do. I regret that I do not =
have happier news to report to Clayart. The family has faced some =
exceptionally draining weeks.
Your at-home Clayarter, Charles Moore

Steven wrote:
I appreciate your concern and help. Yes, I suppose it would make things =
easier for me and everyone else if we posted some kind of update so here =
is something brief. Frankly though I don't know how I would like people =
to greet me.........whether to ask about Jared, not ask, give me their =
wishes, etc. I don't know. Just leave it to whatever people feel =
comfortable doing. You're right though I don't want to be repeating the =
story over and over again but I suspect that I will to some degree.

There has also been a new development this week so here it is:

About 6 weeks ago Jared began to have headaches again and it was =
discovered that the tumors had recurred. They are small but serious and =
causing some problems. He began a new cycle of chemotherapy and last =
week finished the first of 2, 18 cycles. He was scheduled to begin the =
second cycle on Monday 3/14.

Last weekend Jared began to show signs of extreme fatigue, blurry =
vision, more head and neck pain, and general discomfort. He was having =
trouble waking up in the morning and taking along time to get out of =
bed. On Tuesday morning he woke feeling very uncomfortable and could =
barely get up and out of bed. We took him to the clinic to see his =
doctors and by then he was barely conscious. He went for a CAT Scan and =
immediately to the emergency room. After a full day there he was =
admitted to intensive care. After more tests and an MRI the diagnosis =
was that he was having a reaction to a combination of an overdose of =
pain medication and the sedative effects of a couple of the chemotherapy =
drugs. The scans showed no progression of the disease over the past 6 =
weeks. Each day this week he has been more wake and alert. It is now =
Friday, he's still in the hospital, though we are hoping that he will be =
able to come home today. He is fully awake though still very tired. To =
compound matters there is something that is causing a problem with the =
control of the right side of his face and his vision. His vision =
continue, to be blurry and spotty, his eyelid is droopy and he can't =
fully control the side of his mouth. We are very worried, anxious, and =
upset about these new developments.